There are more shake-ups behind the scenes at NXT today as one of their longest-tenured trainers, former WWE superstar Scott Garland, better known by his ring name, Scotty 2 Hotty, has requested his release from WWE. Garland has been a trainer and producer for the NXT brand since September of 2016, and judging by his statement online following his release, it sounds as if the recent changes in the NXT 2.0 era of the brand are what lead to his departure.
Today, the former Scotty 2 Hotty took to his personal Instagram and Twitter accounts to announce his departure from WWE, where he worked as a wrestler from 1997 through 2007. He rejoined the company as a trainer for young up-and-coming superstars in NXT in 2016. While he seems to have loved the role in the brand's former era, it sounds as if the recent changes, including what kind of wrestlers the company is aiming for now, have been not ideal for him, and as such, he's decided to walk away.
In a statement on his Scotty 2 Hotty social media accounts, Garland said the following:
"Today, I have asked for my release from World Wrestling Entertainment. 30 years ago I stepped into a WWE ring for the very first time. I have lived my dream 100 times over. Some of my most special memories will always be from the last five years working with NXT. The black and gold brand was something special and I am proud to have been a small part of that. I always promised myself that I would never be part of something solely for the paycheck and that was where I was at. I told myself that I would walk away if I ever got to that point, so that is what I have chosen to do.
Coaching and producing the stars of NXT will always be a highlight of my life. I love you all more than you will ever know."
It definitely sounds like Garland wasn't totally on board with the changes Vince McMahon and Bruce Prichard have implemented in the brand over the past few months, and he has reached his limit with it. It should be noted how numerous NXT talents commented on his Instagram post saying how much they appreciated him and learned from him, so we can only assume Garland was a highly respected trainer and coach in NXT.
First as "Too Hot" Scott Taylor and then later as Scotty 2 Hotty, Garland teamed with the late Brian Christopher (later renamed Grand Master Sexay) to form the incredibly popular tag team Too Cool, where they became WWE Tag Team Champions. Too Cool, along with their partner Rikishi, became one of the most popular acts in the WWF during the height of the "Attitude Era."